Watchdog urges passengers: check and check again!

21 December 2017

Over the Christmas and New Year period, substantial amounts of engineering will be undertaken on the railways and the Underground in and around London. London TravelWatch is urging passengers to check before they travel, both on their outward and return journeys as well as when they go back to work in the New Year. We are also asking the train operators to go the extra mile to keep passengers informed and assist them as much as they can.

John Stewart, Deputy Chair of London TravelWatch, said:

“We are concerned about the extent of the works this holiday period. Despite careful planning, many passengers will be affected, including those travelling to airports, and there is potential for works to continue longer than expected.”

He added:

“We expect train operators to work hard to get updated information out if engineering works do overrun as well as to help passengers during their journeys.”

The complete set of works has been summarised in the table below. Many of London’s terminal stations are affected and access to London’s airports will be changed.

Further information

  1. London TravelWatch is the operating name for the London Transport Users Committee. We are the official watchdog representing the interests of transport users in and around London, and independent of the transport operators and government. London TravelWatch is sponsored and funded by the London Assembly, part of the Greater London Authority.
  2. Follow London TravelWatch on Twitter and You Tube.
  3. For more information, please contact the London TravelWatch press office on 020 3176 5941 or 07734 055494.

Full list of engineering works

There are significant changes for passengers who are travelling to airports. These are highlighted in blue below. Key issues are as follows:

  • There will be no Heathrow Express or Heathrow Connect trains to Heathrow between 24 and 27 December 2017. The Piccadilly line is an alternative route from central London.
  • Gatwick Airport will have no service on 26 December 2017; instead there will be a rail replacement bus service. There will be limited service over the rest of the Christmas period.
  • Luton Airport Parkway will have a reduced service from 23-24 December 2017, and there are disruptions to the rest of the Thameslink services due to work through the ‘core’ central section over the Christmas period.
  • The DLR service that passes through London City Airport will be busier than usual due to the closure of Southeastern routes from Woolwich Arsenal to central London .
  • There will be a reduced service to Stansted Airport with an early finish on 24 December and a bus service until 13:00 on 1 January.

Great Western Railway (GWR), Heathrow Express and Heathrow Connect:

Paddington station will be completely closed between 24 and 27 December 2017. On 24 and 27 December 2017, some long distance services will be diverted into Marylebone, and there will be fewer trains running than normal.

  • Journeys via Marylebone will take longer and passengers will have to change at Reading if they wish to continue to Waterloo.
  • Local services will terminate at Slough where there will be various options for continuing travel.
  • From 28 to 31 December 2017there will be two-tracks instead of four-tracks in operation between Paddington and Slough. For passengers, this will mean reduced numbers of long distance, local and Heathrow Express services.
  • There will be a Bank Holiday service running on 1 January 2018 and a new timetable with electric trains running to Didcot Parkway will come into service on 2 January 2018.
  • Between 24 and 30 December, there will be no free Heathrow Express terminal transfer service between Terminals 2 & 3 and Terminal 4.


  • London Bridge station will be closed for final part of the ongoing Thameslink works.
  • Other central London stations will be closed between 23 December 2017 and 1 January 2018. These include: City Thameslink, Farringdon, Charing Cross, Waterloo East, Cannon Street and at points Blackfriars.
  • Between 27 and 29 December 2017 Southeastern have warned that Victoria Station is likely to be very busy, with an amended timetable running.
  • The diversions to train services are following a similar pattern to previous closures, and there is lots of information on the Thameslink programme website and at stations about when and where services are running.

 TfL Rail and Greater Anglia:

  • The line between Liverpool Street and Ingatestone/ Billericay is closed from 23 to 26 December 2017 for overhead line works associated with the Crossrail (Elizabeth Line) project. Rail replacement buses will replace trains between Ingatestone/Billericay and Newbury Park, where passengers can pick up the Central line.

Transport for London:

  • There are closures on sections of the London Overground with some rail replacement buses provided.
  • Between 24 and 30 December 2017 the Circle line between Edgware Road to Aldgate via Victoria will not be open.
  • The District line will be closed west of Earl’s Court with no service to Ealing Broadway, Richmond, Wimbledon or Edgware Road.
  • There will be some rail replacement buses in place.

Full table of engineering works





Dates (inclusive)

Alternative travel advice


Airport connection

Heathrow Express and Heathrow Connect


Paddington to Heathrow T2,3,4, & 5

24 Dec -27 Dec

Piccadilly line or National Express coach

Airport connection

Heathrow Express and Heathrow Connect


Heathrow T23 to Heathrow T4

26 Dec - 30 Dec

Piccadilly line ot local buses

Airport connection

Gatwick Express, Southern


Gatwick Airport

1) 23 Dec, 24 Dec, 27 Dec - 1
Jan reduced service

2) 25/26 Dec- no service

Rail Replacement bus on 26 Dec, but a queueing system may be in place.
Revised service on other days. National Express coaches are an alternative

Airport connection

GWR, Southern, Thameslink


Gatwick Airport (no trains between
Purley and Redhill)

23 Dec - 1 Jan

Bus service between Reigate and Gatwick airport, and between Reigate and Redhill (GWR)

Bus service between Purley, Redhill and Horley, Redhill and Tonbridge  (Southern)

Airport connection


Reduced Service

Luton Aiport Parkway

Reduced service 23-24 Dec

Check trains if you are coming from South London.

Airport connection


Busy Services

London City Airport

No closures- but DLR busier than usual due to knock on effects from South Eastern Closures


Airport connection

Stansted Express

Reduced Service

Stansted Airport

Early finish on 24 Dec, no trains on 25-26 Dec, bus service on 1 Jan until 13.00, then Sunday service. or use National Express coaches


TfL Rail


Shenfield to Liverpool Street

Closed 23 Dec - 1 Jan

Buses will run from Shenfield to Newbury Park, via Chadwell Heath and other stations. Buses will run between Romford and Stratford- all stations except Maryland


London Overground


No service between Highbury & Islington and Dalston Junction.

No service 27 - 30 Dec

Replacement buses operate between Highbury & Islington, Canonbury and Dalston Junction.

No service between Camden Road and Stratford.

No service  23 - 30 Dec

Rail Replacement buses will operate

No service between Romford and Upminster.

No service 23 Dec - 1 Jan

Use local bus route 370.

Barking to Gospel Oak

Ongoing closure until Jan

Rail Replacement buses are already running - for  more info see: works-and-events/london-overground-closure


Northern Line- TfL, night tube


Northern Line: Charing Cross and
Stockwell from 00:00 to 02:00

No service evening of Fri 22- Sat 23 Dec (until 2am)

Use local night buses


Circle Line - TfL


Circle Line: Edgware Road to Aldgate via Victoria

No service 24 - 30 Dec

Some rail replacement services


District Line- TfL


District Line: Ealing Broadway- Richmond, South Kensington - Edgware Road, Earl's Court- Kensington Olympia, Earl's Court - Wimbledon

No service 24 - 30 Dec

Some rail replacement services, or use Picadilly line


Greater Anglia


Liverpool Street- Ingatestone/Billericay

No service 23 Dec- 1 Jan

Central Line- Newbury Park into London, buses between Newbury Park and Ingatestone/Billericay, Buses between Shenfield and Ingatestone;; and




London Fenchurch Street: Closed.

Closed 23-26 Dec

Trains will run from Liverpool Street.


East Midland Trains; GTR

Reduced Service

St Pancras- reduced service

Reduced service 23-26 Dec

Reduced train service




City Thameslink, Farringdon, Charing Cross, Waterloo East, Cannon Street, London Bridge and Blackfriars station- closed

Weekends of 23-24 Dec, 30-
31 Dec

Trains will be diverted to Victoria or Waterloo. Revised timetable. 22.00- last train on 24 Dec. Bus services on key route.Detailed  journey info in links to the right.;

City Thameslink, Farringdon, Charing Cross, Waterloo East, Cannon Street and London Bridge Closed,

27- 29 Dec

Trains diverted via Blackfriars, Waterloo, Victoria. Victoria will be very busy during peak. Buses between Lewisham and Charlton. Tonbridge - Sevenoaks- buses and amended timetable. Detailed journey info in links to the right.

City Thameslink, Farringdon, Charing Cross, Waterloo East, Cannon Street, London Bridge and Blackfriars station- closed


Blackfriars closed. Trains diverted to Waterloo/Victoria. Buses between Lewisham and Charlton and Lewisham and Dartford.
Detailed journey info in links to the right.


GWR, Heathrow Connect, Heathrow Express


Paddington-Slough / Heathrow Airport- all closed

24- 27 Dec

Long distance trains- through Marylebone. West Ealing- Greenford shuttle service will not run. Use local bus services. SWR services to Reading- alternative.


Paddington- reduced services

28-31 Dec

Reduced Long Distance and  local services

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